New Media and ‘Smart Things’: How Do New Technologies Objectify the Distinction Between ‘Social Intercourse’ and ‘Communication’?

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Andrey V. Rezaev

Doctor of Philosophy, Chairperson of Comparative Sociology, St. Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Natalia D. Tregubova

PhD in Sociology, Assistant Professor at the Chair of Comparative Sociology, St. Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia


Section: Theory of Journalism and Media

The terms ‘social intercourse’ (‘obshchenie’) and ‘communication’ are used as identical notions in modern Russian language. Indeed, average language users often apply these words as synonyms while scholars substitute the discussion concerning social intercourse with a conceptual apparatus of communication studies. In this paper, we argue that the development of online technologies necessitates a differentiation between ‘social intercourse’ and ‘communication’. The expansion of new media and ‘smart things’ into everyday life elevates a variety of research questions which can no longer be adequately addressed in the terms developed explicitly for communication studies. We highlight the conceptual distinction in the scholarly usage of the terms ‘social intercourse’ and ‘communication’. We argue that taking into account the specifics of today’s reality researchers should switch their attention and develop a conceptual framework as well as basics for empirical research of the phenomenon of social intercourse.

Keywords: communication, social intercourse, new media, ‘smart things’, digital society
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.1.2019.2545


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